Your skin - hands skin colors

Pigmentation plays a crucial role in determining our skin, hair, and eye color.

Learn about the factors that contribute to the development of dark spots and gain insights into their causes. The color of your skin is influenced by your phototype and sun exposure. Areas exposed to the sun tend to be darker due to the production of melanin, the natural pigment responsible for skin color and protection against UV rays.

The skin has a natural colour independently of sun exposure: this is its pigmentation.

This colour depends on skin cells called melanocytes, which are unique in that they produce pigments known as melanin. This melanin found in the skin offers natural protection against the ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun.

How Does Pigmentation Work?

Pigmentation is primarily governed by melanocytes, specialized cells found in the skin, hair follicles, and eyes. These melanocytes produce a pigment called melanin, which is responsible for the coloration of these tissues. There are two types of melanin:

1. Eumelanin commonly referred to as "true melanin," eumelanin is characterized by its black or dark brown color. It serves as a natural protection against harmful UV rays.

2. Phaeomelanin also known as "red" melanin, phaeomelanin is prevalent in individuals with fair skin or red hair. Unlike eumelanin, it does not provide UV protection. In fact, the synthesis of phaeomelanin can generate free radicals that can potentially damage the skin.

Each person possesses varying proportions of these two types of melanin. The quantity present determines an individual's inherent skin tone and their ability to tan when exposed to sunlight.

Woman checking her skin in a mirror

While hyperpigmentation can occur due to various reasons, several key factors influence its development. Understanding the factors that contribute to hyperpigmentation is crucial in effectively managing and treating this condition.

  • Sun exposure and aging can be cause dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation. UV rays penetrate the skin and stimulate melanocytes, which are responsible for producing melanin. Sometimes, melanocytes become disrupted and produce excessive melanin, leading to dark spots that are unevenly distributed on the skin.
  • Long-term sun exposure results in the overproduction of melanin, causing the formation of dark spots or lentigos. People who work outdoors are more prone to developing these spots at an earlier age. Additionally, the risk of hyperpigmentation increases with age and typically affects areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, and hands. This condition is known as solar lentigo or senile lentigo and can affect all skin types.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy or while using oral contraceptives can also trigger hyperpigmentation. In brown-haired women, hormonal fluctuations can lead to the appearance of melasma, commonly referred to as a "pregnancy mask." Melasma tends to darken under ultraviolet radiation and may fade after hormones return to normal, although residual pigmentation can persist for months or even years.
  • Certain plant species, fragrances, and medications can cause dark spots through photosensitization reactions when exposed to the sun.
  • Damage or scarred skin, such as burns, sunburns, or healed inflammatory lesions like acne, is more susceptible to developing pigmentation spots when exposed to UV rays.

Discover expert-recommended practices to maintain healthy and even-toned skin while minimising the risk of hyperpigmentation.

  • Shield Your Skin from Harmful UV Rays - Safeguard your skin from the detrimental effects of UV rays by using high SPF (sun protection factor) sunscreen on exposed areas. Ensure regular reapplication every two hours, especially when engaging in outdoor or water activities.
  • Opt for Shade - Whenever feasible, seek shade during the peak sun hours, typically between 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun's rays are at their strongest.

  • Achieve Radiant Skin -  Make sure to use targeted protection for hyperpigmentation-prone skin 

  • Combat Existing Pigmentation Issues - Improve the appearance of existing pigmentation concerns by diligently applying sun protection products from April to October for a period of two to five years. As sunlight triggers pigmentation, consistent UV ray protection plays a pivotal role in addressing the issue.

Never expose babies to the sun. Protect children using clothing and a special sun cream. 80% of skin problems result from the subject being exposed to the sun prior to age 18.

Bioderma - Woman protecting from the sun

Upgrade your skincare regimen with specialized cleansing products designed to address spot problems and hyperpigmentation-prone skin.

Woman washing her face with water

To diminish existing dark spots, brighten your skin, and even out your complexion, it's crucial to incorporate dedicated treatment products that respect the sensitivity of your skin. Opt for skincare products specially formulated for hyperpigmentation-prone skin, designed to provide optimal results.

Woman applying cream

BIODERMA product photo, Pigmentbio Foaming cream 500ml, foaming cream for pigmented skin

Rinse-off daily cleanser

Hyperpigmented skin

Patented combination of active ingredients

Pigmentbio Foaming Cream

(1 review)

Exfoliating cleanser for brighened skin right from the shower.

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Hyperpigmented skin Dark spots and pigment irregularities Sunspots, dark spots, photoageing

LumiReveal technology

Pigmentbio C-Concentrate

(2 reviews)

High security Vitamin C cure for intense pigmentation correction.

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Daily skincare

Hyperpigmented skin

LumiReveal technology

Pigmentbio Daily care SPF 50+

(7 reviews)

Instantly illuminates and protects, unifies & brightens lastingly.

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BIODERMA product photo, Pigmentbio Night renewer 50ml, night renewer for pigmented skin

Night skincare

Hyperpigmented skin

LumiReveal technology

Pigmentbio Night Renewer

(5 reviews)

Regenerates overnight for a unified and brightened complexion.

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